Remember that homemade bubble solution I shared yesterday?
Super simple. Easy to do. With supplies you have. My kind of activity.
I got the opportunity to get a pre-copy of the Gryphon House new book Hands-On Science and Math by Beth R. Davis, ES, NBCT. (It is now available for sale.) This book is fantastic to find fascinating experiments for young kids to explore science and math. All activities that are my kind of activity. Simple, easy set up, and with stuff I have on hand.
These are ten of the hands-on science and math activities you can find in the book (there’s over 40 in the book with full explanation and photos). I’ll try my best to explain these 10 quickly so you get an idea of what to do, but the book does a much better job of providing you with discussion points to talk about with the kids to help them grasp the concept better (as well as explaining what concepts they’re learning!), and even giving you extension ideas to keep the fun going! I love it!
10 Hands-On Science & Math Activities
1. A classic Sink or Float activity! This is a great experiment to create their own hypothesis’ and then observe what happens!
Fill a tub with water and collect various items to test. You can see how we did a sink or float activity with the kids’ toys.
You can take it a step further though and have empty bowls with “Sink” and “Float” written on them to sort the objects after they’ve been tested and then graph them (a graph is found in the book).
2. Do some Tree-Trunk Explorations! Cut 10 or so tree ‘blocks’ that are 1-2 inches across.
I’ve seen blocks made out of tree trunks and branches, but never knew really what to do with them. Hands-On Science & Math gives plenty of ideas to do! Including measuring, stacking, sorting and ordering by size, and exploring them with a magnifying glass. I want to take it a step further and find rings to count to see old the trunk is!
3. Learn about color theory with this Let the Color Changes Flow activity! There’s something magical about mixing colors together to create another color. In 3 different dishes, make colored water in the primary colors (red, blue and yellow). Using a eye dropper, have the kids suck up two of the colors of water and mix them together in an empty dish. Have them guess what color its going to make, and observe what color it does.
Take the magic to the next level with the Absorbing Color Combinations activity found in the Hands-On Science & Math book. We shared something similar to this on PBS Parents.
4. The infamous Ivory Soap Experiment, otherwise known as Fluffed Up Soap. You need to have Ivory Soap for this experiment. Unwrap the soap and microwave it for a couple of minutes and watch the magic happen! Make sure you have your kids take part in that, because that is the experiment!
Extend the learning by doing the sink or float activity with the bar of soap too. This is a great exploration of how a material can change, but still be the same. You can see our (old) photos of us doing the Ivory Soap Experiment.
5. My kids love the Bubbling Baking Soda Experiment! This is the experiment where you blow up a balloon without your own air (and without helium). You blow it up only using the gas put off from baking soda and vinegar!
It’s so fun! Put 2 ounces of vinegar in a water bottle and funnel in 1 tablespoon of baking soda in a balloon. Then tightly secure the balloon onto the top of the bottle (without letter the baking soda drop in yet). When ready, gently shake the baking soda out of the balloon and into the bottle. Hold tight where the the balloon is secured to the top of the bottle so it doesn’t fly off.
Follow up this activity with the kids playing with vinegar and baking soda on a tray or egg carton! They’ll love the fizzy reactions they get!
6. Get hands on with a Volcano Erupting! Add food coloring to 2 ounces of vinegar to give it color. Set a paper cup inside a paper bowl, add 2 tablespoon of baking soda to the cup. Using a funnel, quickly add vinegar to the cup! Repeat as many times as the kids want to see the volcano erupt!
7. Understanding Air and Blowing Bubbles is super duper fun that will keep the kids busy for quite a while! Beth shared the homemade bubble solution yesterday. From there, place the solution in a shallow dish and give the kids a straw to blow bubbles! Let them learn how to make them, using a gentle blow is best.
Try to fill up the dish with as many bubbles as you can!
8. The Estimation Guessing Game is a fun way for kids to learn how to estimate! Choose an object that’s somewhat small, and you have a lot of. Buttons would work well for me, or you could do Lego or other item such as that. Fill a container with the object. Fill another container with 10 of the items. Have the kids count the container of 10. They can then compare the size of the bigger container of the item to the container with the 10 to make a guess, or estimation, of how many are in the big container.
Once they’ve recorded their predictions, you can then count the actual number. Take it a step further and sort by size or color and estimate those as well!
9. Creative Printing with Sunlight is something that’s been on my to-do list for a long, long time, but I keep forgetting about it. This is a great lesson on the effects of the sun (and the reason for sunscreen)! Use dark blue construction paper, or get some sun-sensitive paper, and arrange small items on it. Place the arrangements in a super sunny place and wait for the sun to make its prints. It’ll take 5-8 minutes. Check the items carefully to see if a print has been made (if not, replace it in the same spot).
Once a nice print has been made, remove the items and take inside. Dip the prints in a tub of water for 1-5 minutes. Take them out to dry. You can then laminate them, and they’d be a great puzzle! Like the shape outlines match up we did with the kids’ toys!
10. Go, Car, Go! Simple Machines & Inclined Planes is a simple lesson in simple machines and physics, and something every car lover will be doing over and over. Use a piece of cardboard, or other harder, flat surface that you can manipulate, this will be the car track (inclined plane). Place 2 books on the floor (non-carpeted), and prop the car track on top of them. Start a car rolling at the top of the track and release the car. Measure how far it went from the end of the track (use a measuring tape, or their own feet).
Next, add two more books to the stack and roll the car again, measure again. And repeat as many times as you like!
See? I told you those were super simple, hands-on science and math activities to do with the kids!
Now, go have some fun with them!
Get a sneak peek of the Hands-On Science & Math book here!
Enter to win Hands-On Science & Math!
Before you go have fun with these fantastic activities, get the book! I have ten to give away!
Ten of you have a chance to win a copy of the Hands-On Science & Math book by Beth R. Davis, EdS, BCT.
Enter to win by answering the following question:
What’s your favorite science or math activity you’ve done with the kids (or from the book excerpt)?
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
1. Leave a comment in response to the question above.
2. Tweet about this giveaway by answering the question above; include the following term (exactly) in your tweet: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post.
This sweepstakes runs from 7/15/2015 – 7/30/2015 and ends at midnight CST.
This giveaway is open to US & Canada Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.